The patterns in the glass panel and the maple interact in a visual dance
‘Breathe’ is a chest of drawers with a glass panel decorated with a frosted pattern of slanting stripes. A similar pattern has been cut into the sides of the wooden drawers but angled in the opposite direction. When a drawer is pulled out, this decorative device creates a fascinating visual dance, as the stripes move towards and past each other, flickering in and out of contact. This interactive dance is created not just by the pattern in the wood and glass but also by outside factors including the light in the room and, not least, the person pulling the drawer. Akiko Kuwahata’s inspiration for this device came from her reflections on the creative process itself. This process relies on a multitude of sources, including the maker’s own ideas and experiences as well as influences from the outside world: other people, natural phenomena, art, books etc. All these experiences are combined and transformed in the creative process, just as the expression of Breathe is transformed when it is set in motion by a human hand.
Akiko Kuwahata created Breathe in close cooperation with the Danish cabinetmaker Ken Winther, who works at PP Møbler.
L 100 x W 27.5 x H 106 cm
Japanese designer and cabinetmaker, b. 1976
Akiko Kuwahata is a trained cabinetmaker and has chosen wood as her primary material. She draws inspiration from traditional Japanese craft methods and Scandinavian design and works in an up-close, hands-on approach to arrive at the perfect form for the task at hand. Apart from functional considerations, her work is also driven by a clear focus on sensuous qualities and the ambition of creating something that appeals as much to our sense of touch as it does to the eye.
2009 to date: Independent design and production firm ‘AKIKO’
2009: Traineeship with designer Cecilie Manz
2005: Traineeship at RKDO (Raunkjær Kærgård Design Office)
2004: Studied furniture and interior design at Aarhus School of Architecture
1999-2003: Worked as a cabinetmaker at Hinoki Kogei Co. Ltd., Japan
1999: Studied living space design at College of Art Nihon University, Japan
2014 to date: Collaboration with Galerie Maria Wettergren, Paris
2013: Won statuette competition for Odense International Film Festival
Selected grants and honours
2011: Danmarks Nationalbank’s Anniversary Foundation of 1968
2011: Grosserer L.F. Foghts Fond
2015: MINDCRAFT15, Danish Agency for Culture (now Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces), Milan
2015: STiTCH table and chair presented at THE SALON ART + DESIGN, New York
2011: ‘Women Work in Wood’, Walford Mill Crafts and London Metropolitan University